US6077124A - Electrical connectors for flat flexible circuitry with yieldable backing structure - Google Patents

Electrical connectors for flat flexible circuitry with yieldable backing structure Download PDF

Info

Publication number
US6077124A
US6077124A US08948830 US94883097A US6077124A US 6077124 A US6077124 A US 6077124A US 08948830 US08948830 US 08948830 US 94883097 A US94883097 A US 94883097A US 6077124 A US6077124 A US 6077124A
Authority
US
Grant status
Grant
Patent type
Prior art keywords
cavity
wall portions
flexible circuit
conductors
connector
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Expired - Lifetime
Application number
US08948830
Inventor
Harry N. Etters
Robert M. Fuerst
Russell J. Watt
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
Molex LLC
Original Assignee
Molex LLC
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Grant date

Links

Images

Classifications

    • HELECTRICITY
    • H01BASIC ELECTRIC ELEMENTS
    • H01RLINE CONNECTORS; CURRENT COLLECTORS
    • H01R12/00Structural associations of a plurality of mutually-insulated electrical connecting elements, specially adapted for printed circuits, e.g. printed circuit boards [PCBs], flat or ribbon cables, or like generally planar structures, e.g. terminal strips, terminal blocks; Coupling devices specially adapted for printed circuits, flat or ribbon cables, or like generally planar structures; Terminals specially adapted for contact with, or insertion into, printed circuits, flat or ribbon cables, or like generally planar structures
    • H01R12/50Fixed connections
    • H01R12/59Fixed connections for flexible printed circuits, flat or ribbon cables or like structures
    • H01R12/592Fixed connections for flexible printed circuits, flat or ribbon cables or like structures connections to contact elements
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H01BASIC ELECTRIC ELEMENTS
    • H01RLINE CONNECTORS; CURRENT COLLECTORS
    • H01R12/00Structural associations of a plurality of mutually-insulated electrical connecting elements, specially adapted for printed circuits, e.g. printed circuit boards [PCBs], flat or ribbon cables, or like generally planar structures, e.g. terminal strips, terminal blocks; Coupling devices specially adapted for printed circuits, flat or ribbon cables, or like generally planar structures; Terminals specially adapted for contact with, or insertion into, printed circuits, flat or ribbon cables, or like generally planar structures
    • H01R12/70Coupling devices
    • H01R12/77Coupling devices for flexible printed circuits, flat or ribbon cables or like structures
    • H01R12/79Coupling devices for flexible printed circuits, flat or ribbon cables or like structures connecting to rigid printed circuits or like structures
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H01BASIC ELECTRIC ELEMENTS
    • H01RLINE CONNECTORS; CURRENT COLLECTORS
    • H01R12/00Structural associations of a plurality of mutually-insulated electrical connecting elements, specially adapted for printed circuits, e.g. printed circuit boards [PCBs], flat or ribbon cables, or like generally planar structures, e.g. terminal strips, terminal blocks; Coupling devices specially adapted for printed circuits, flat or ribbon cables, or like generally planar structures; Terminals specially adapted for contact with, or insertion into, printed circuits, flat or ribbon cables, or like generally planar structures
    • H01R12/70Coupling devices
    • H01R12/77Coupling devices for flexible printed circuits, flat or ribbon cables or like structures
    • H01R12/771Details
    • H01R12/772Strain relieving means
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H05ELECTRIC TECHNIQUES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • H05KPRINTED CIRCUITS; CASINGS OR CONSTRUCTIONAL DETAILS OF ELECTRIC APPARATUS; MANUFACTURE OF ASSEMBLAGES OF ELECTRICAL COMPONENTS
    • H05K1/00Printed circuits
    • H05K1/02Details
    • H05K1/11Printed elements for providing electric connections to or between printed circuits
    • H05K1/118Printed elements for providing electric connections to or between printed circuits specially for flexible printed circuits, e.g. using folded portions
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H05ELECTRIC TECHNIQUES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • H05KPRINTED CIRCUITS; CASINGS OR CONSTRUCTIONAL DETAILS OF ELECTRIC APPARATUS; MANUFACTURE OF ASSEMBLAGES OF ELECTRICAL COMPONENTS
    • H05K3/00Apparatus or processes for manufacturing printed circuits
    • H05K3/36Assembling printed circuits with other printed circuits
    • H05K3/361Assembling flexible printed circuits with other printed circuits
    • H05K3/365Assembling flexible printed circuits with other printed circuits by abutting, i.e. without alloying process

Abstract

A female connector is adapted for electrically interconnecting the conductors of a flat flexible circuit to the conductors of a complementary mating connecting device. The connector includes a female housing having wall portions defining a cavity for receiving the flexible circuit. The wall portions are relatively movable between an open condition allowing a yieldable backing structure to be assembled on a cavity-side of at least one of the wall portions and a closed condition defining the cavity. The yieldable backing structure resiliently biases the conductors of the flexible circuit received in the cavity against the conductors of the mating connecting device when the connector is mated with the device.

Description

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention generally relates to the art of electrical connectors and, particularly, to connectors for electrically interconnecting flat flexible circuitry.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

A flat flexible circuit conventionally includes an elongated flat flexible dielectric substrate having laterally spaced strips of conductors on one or both sides thereof. The conductors may be covered with a thin, flexible protective layer on one or both sides of the circuit. If protective layers are used, openings are formed therein to expose the underlying conductors at desired contact locations where the conductors are to engage the conductors of a complementary mating connecting device which may be a second flat flexible circuit, a printed circuit board or the terminals of a mating connector.

A wide variety of connectors have been designed over the years for terminating or interconnecting flat flexible circuits with complementary mating connecting devices. Problems continue to plague such connectors, particularly in the area of cost, complexity and reliability. Not only is the direct material costs of such connectors relatively high, but an undue amount of labor time is required in assembling such connectors. Furthermore, each connector is designed and manufactured to accommodate a particular flex circuit size and therefore for each size a single connector must be designed, manufactured and inventoried. In addition, the cost and time associated with application tooling for the connectors and their flexible circuits also adds to the problems associated with such connectors. The present invention is directed to solving these problems by providing simple, inexpensive and reliable connector structures not heretofore available.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

An object, therefore, of the invention is to provide a new and improved connector for flat flexible circuitry.

Another object of the invention is to provide a new and improved female connector for electrically interconnecting the conductors of a flat flexible circuit to the conductors of a complementary mating connecting device.

Generally, the connector of the invention includes a female housing having wall means defining a cavity for receiving the flexible circuit. The wall means include wall portions which are relatively movable between an open condition allowing a yieldable backing structure to be assembled on a cavity-side of at least one of the wall portions, and a closed condition defining the cavity. A yieldable backing structure is provided on the cavity-side of the one wall portion for resiliently biasing the conductors of the flexible circuit received in the cavity against the conductors of the mating connecting device when the connector is mated with the device.

As disclosed herein, the female housing is molded of plastic material and the relatively movable wall means are joined by an integrally molded living hinge. The yieldable backing structure may be a separate component assembled to the wall portion when the wall means are in the open condition. The yieldable backing structure may be a molded-in-place component fabricated with the wall means in the open condition.

In the exemplary embodiment of the invention, the female housing is generally U-shaped and includes a pair of side wall portions defining opposite sides of the cavity and a rear wall portion defining a rear of the cavity. One of the yieldable backing structures is provided on the cavity-side of each of the side wall portions. A slot may be provided in the rear wall portion through which the flat flexible circuit is positioned. The invention also contemplates that the female housing be surrounded by a generally rigid shell having an opening aligned with the cavity in the housing.

In an alternate embodiment of the invention, the housing includes end wall portions cooperating with the side wall portions and the rear wall portion to define a box-like structure with a front opening for receiving the flexible circuit. Latch means are operatively associated between at least some of the wall portions to hold all the wall portions in their box-like configuration. In this embodiment, the rigid outer shell may be eliminated.

The invention contemplates that a single size connector can accommodate a range of flex circuit conductor designs within the same size flex circuit inasmuch as individual terminals are eliminated. Furthermore, since the connector does not use terminals, the costs and time associated with application tooling is completely eliminated.

Other objects, features and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the following detailed description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The features of this invention which are believed to be novel are set forth with particularity in the appended claims. The invention, together with its objects and the advantages thereof, may be best understood by reference to the following description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which like reference numerals identify like elements in the figures and in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a female connector terminating a flat flexible circuit, according to the invention, along with a printed circuit board mateable with the connector;

FIG. 2 is an exploded perspective view of the female connector and flat flexible circuit;

FIG. 3 is a view similar to that of FIG. 2, showing the yieldable backing structures as separate components;

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the female housing in a partially open condition;

FIG. 5 is a view somewhat similar to that of FIG. 2, but with the connector adapted for terminating a double-sided flexible circuit;

FIG. 6 is an exploded perspective view of the connector of FIG. 5, with the yieldable backing structures shown as separate components;

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of an alternate embodiment of a female housing in a substantially open condition;

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of the female housing of FIG. 7 about to be closed and latched;

FIG. 9 is an exploded perspective view of an embodiment of the female connector adapted for mounting in a panel;

FIG. 10 is a perspective view of the connector of FIG. 9;

FIG. 11 is a perspective view of a male connector for terminating a flat flexible circuit, according to one embodiment of the invention wherein the yieldable backing member is a molded-in-place component;

FIG. 12 is a perspective view of the connector of FIG. 11, with the flexible circuit terminated thereto;

FIG. 13 is a view similar to that of FIG. 12, but with the latches of the connector of a different configuration;

FIG. 14 is a view similar to that of FIG. 11, but with the yieldable backing structure being a separate component;

FIG. 15 is a view similar to that of FIG. 14, but with the male connector adapted as a double-sided connector;

FIG. 16 is a view similar to that of FIG. 11, but with an alternate means of providing a flexible circuit strain relief by passing the flexible circuit through an integrally molded slot;

FIG. 17 is a view similar to that of FIG. 16, but with the yieldable backing structure being a plurality of integrally molded spring fingers;

FIG. 18 is a perspective view of still a further embodiment of a male connector embodying a movable cable clamp; and

FIG. 19 is a perspective view of an embodiment of a male connector similar to that of FIG. 18 but with a movable cable clamp incorporating a latching mechanism.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

Referring to the drawings in greater detail, the concepts of the invention are disclosed herein as embodied in a connector assembly, including a female connector and a male connector. Various embodiments of the female connector are shown in FIGS. 1-10. Various embodiments of the male connector are shown in FIGS. 11-19. It should be understood that the female connector can be mated with the male connector as a connector assembly, or either the female connector or the male connector can be used alone for electrically interconnecting the conductors of a flat flexible circuit to the conductors of a variety of other complementary mating connecting devices.

For instance, FIG. 1 shows a female connector, generally designated 10, for terminating a flat flexible circuit 12 and electrically interconnecting the conductors 14 of the flexible circuit to conductors or circuit pads 16 on one or both sides of a rigid printed circuit board 18.

FIG. 2 shows female connector 10 in conjunction with the flat flexible circuit 12 which has been folded for assembly purposes. For reference or nomenclature purposes, the flexible circuit has been folded to include an upper front fold 12a and a lower front fold 12b between which the flexible circuit is folded into a generally U-shape to define a rear fold 12c. This configuration defines a mouth, generally designated 20. The distal end 12d of the flexible circuit is folded in a rearward direction, as shown.

Still referring to FIG. 2, female connector 10 includes a female housing, generally designated 22, and a box-like outer shell, generally designated 24. The female housing is generally U-shaped and includes a pair of side wall portions 22a defining opposite sides of a cavity, generally designated 26, along with a rear wall portion 22b which defines the rear of the cavity. The upper side wall portion includes a pair of tabs 28 at opposite edges thereof which seat into recesses 30 in opposite edges of flexible circuit 12 for properly locating the circuit relative to female housing 22 and to provide strain relief for the circuit. The female housing is a one-piece structure integrally molded of dielectric material such as plastic or the like. Side wall portions 22a are joined to rear wall portion 22b by integrally molded living hinges 32 which permit the wall portions of the female housing to be movable between an open condition and a closed condition, as described hereinafter.

Rigid outer shell 24 (FIG. 2) of female connector 10 also is a one-piece structure including top and bottom walls 24a and 24b, respectively, and a pair of opposite side walls 24c. The side walls are provided with latch openings 34 for purposes described hereinafter. The shell has a front opening 36 which is aligned with cavity 26 of female housing 22 when the connector is in assembled condition as shown in FIG. 1.

The invention contemplates that female housing 22 be provided with a yieldable backing structure 38 on the cavity-side of one or both of side wall portions 22a for resiliently biasing conductors 14 of flexible circuit 12 received in cavity 26 against the conductors of the mating connecting device (such as printed circuit board 18) when the connector is mated with the device. With flexible circuit 12 folded as shown in FIG. 2, upper front fold 12a will embrace top side wall portion 22a and lower front fold 12b will embrace lower side wall portion 22a, so both side wall portions will be provided with one of the yieldable backing structures 38. It can be seen in FIG. 2 that each yieldable backing structure is elongated in the direction of the width of the flexible circuit so that the backing structure is at least wide enough to resiliently bias all of the conductors 14 of the circuit against their respective conductors of the complementary mating connecting device. It can further be seen that the backing structure 38 is generally uniform in size and therefore can resiliently bias a flex circuit having any conductor configuration or thickness. That is to say, since there are no discrete terminals in the connector, the layout of the flex circuit and the positioning of the conductors thereon is not critical to the actual connector or connector size. Therefore, in applications such as high current applications where the conductor thickness may be larger than other, lower current applications, the connector configurations can remain the same.

FIG. 2 represents an embodiment of the invention wherein the yieldable backing structures 38 comprise molded-in-place components, as described below. FIG. 3 represents an embodiment wherein yieldable backing structure 38A are separately molded components secured in place by tabs 40 inserted into holes 42 in side wall portions 22a of the female housing. Adhesives may be used to further fix yieldable backing structures 38A in position. Whereas female housing 22 is molded of relatively stiff or rigid plastic material, yieldable backing structures 38 or 38A are molded or otherwise fabricated of elastomeric material such as silicone rubber or the like.

FIG. 4 shows female housing 22 in a partially open condition in comparison to the closed U-shaped condition of FIG. 2. In particular, side wall portions 22a can be moved or rotated relative to rear wall portion 22b about living hinges 32 until the entire female housing is in a flat, fully open condition. In this condition, yieldable backing structures 38 can be very easily assembled or fabricated to the side wall portions, i.e. much easier than if the female housing was a rigid closed structure. With the embodiment of FIG. 3, yieldable backing structures 38A simply are positioned on the open side wall portions and fixed into place by way of heat staking, latching, ultrasonically welding or the like. In the embodiment of FIG. 2, yieldable backing structures 38 can easily be molded-in-place in elongated recesses in the side wall portions, with the side wall portions in their open, flat condition. The invention contemplates that the molded-in-place backing structures 38 can be insert molded into the recesses in the side wall portions. On the other hand, it is contemplated that the backing structures can be molded in a "two-shot" fabricating process wherein the plastic material of the female housing is injected in one shot, the silicone rubber of backing structures 38 is injected in a second shot, and the materials are cured sequentially, i.e., the plastic material is cured during the second shot injection.

FIG. 5 shows an embodiment very similar to that of FIG. 2, but an elongated slot 44 is formed in rear wall portion 22b of female housing 22 immediately below top side wall portion 22a. This slot enables the connector to be used with a flat flexible circuit 12 which is "double-sided". In other words, the circuit has conductors 14 on both sides thereof. In assembling the double-sided circuit to female housing 22 with slot 44, the circuit, as at 46, projects through slot 44 such that rear fold 12c of the circuit is disposed on the outside of rear wall portion 22b of the female housing. The flexible circuit then is folded around the outside of the bottom side wall 22a until distal end 12d of the circuit is disposed inside cavity 20 on top of the lower yieldable backing structure 38. Therefore, the conductors 14 on the underside of the circuit now face upwardly into the cavity, whereby the conductors on both sides of the circuit are engageable with the conductors on two sides of an appropriate complementary mating device.

In the double-sided embodiment of FIG. 5, yieldable backing structures 38 are molded-in-place components, as described above. FIG. 6 shows substantially the same embodiment, but the yieldable backing structures 38A are mechanically fixed and glued in place as described above in relation to FIG. 3.

FIGS. 7 and 8 show an alternate embodiment of a female housing, generally designated 22A, which not only has opposite side wall portions 22a and rear wall portion 22b, but the housing construction of FIG. 7 includes a pair of opposite end wall portions 22c. The end wall portions are pivotally connected to the side wall portions by living hinges 45. The side wall portions have hooked latch arms 46 which latchingly engage within latch holes 48 in end wall portions 22c to hold the female housing construction in a closed box-like configuration. This construction can be used to eliminate outer shell 24. Yet, female housing 22A still can be fully opened to allow yieldable backing structures 38 (or 38A) to be assembled or molded-in-place on side wall portions 22a, whereafter the structure can be closed to define a cavity for receiving the folded flexible circuit.

FIGS. 9 and 10 show an embodiment of a female connector, generally designated 10A, which is adapted for mounting in an opening in a panel. Female housing 22 is substantially identical to that described above. However, shell 24A include flexible arms 50 and rigid arms 52 for engaging opposite sides of a panel, with shell 24A and, thereby, the connector 10A (FIG. 10) disposed in an opening in the panel. Often, such panel-mounted connectors are mounted in "blind mating" environments and, consequently, flared flanges or lips 54 are provided about opening 36 in the shell in alignment with cavity 26 in the female housing thereby providing a self-aligning feature for a complementary mating device such as a mating connector.

FIGS. 11 and 12 show a male connector, generally designated 60, for electrically interconnecting conductors 14 of flat flexible cable 12 to the conductors of a complementary connecting device. For instance, the male connector may have hooked latch arms 62 at opposite ends thereof for latchingly engaging within latch openings 34 (FIGS. 1 and 2) in side walls 24c of shell 24 of female connector 10. The male connector would be properly sized for insertion through front opening 36 in the shell and into cavity 26 in female housing 22.

More particularly, male connector 60 has male body member, generally designated 64, defining opposite sides 64a and a front edge 64b. In the embodiment of FIGS. 11 and 12, a yieldable backing structure 66 is molded-in-place in a recess or indentation in one or both opposite sides 64a of body member 64. Similar to female housing 22 and yieldable backing structure 38 of female connector 10, male body member 64 can be molded of relatively rigid plastic material, and yieldable backing structure(s) 66 can be molded of elastomeric material, such as silicone rubber. The yieldable backing structure(s) can be either insert molded on the male body member, or the backing structure(s) and body member can be simultaneously molded as a "two-shot" injection process as described above.

In assembly of flexible circuit 12 to male connector 60, the flexible circuit is folded around front edge 64b of male body member 64 as shown in FIG. 12, with conductors 14 of the flexible circuit facing away from the body member. Positioning holes 68 are provided in the flexible circuit for press-fitting engagement with bosses 70 on opposite sides of body member 64 to position and provide strain relief for the flexible circuit wrapped about the male body member. Yieldable backing structure(s) 66, thereby, lie beneath the flexible circuit for resiliently biasing conductors 14 of the circuit against the conductors of the mating connecting device when the connector is mated with the device.

FIG. 13 shows an alternate embodiment of a female latch structure 72 at each opposite end of male connector 60. These female latch structures may latchingly interengage with appropriate latches on a complementary female connecting device. On the other hand, it can be seen in FIG. 13 that female latches 72 are offset upwardly out of the plane of body member 64 to an extent that latch arms 62 (FIGS. 11 and 12) can be inserted thereinto to enable two separate male connectors to be intermated with the respective yielding backing structures 66 of the respective male connectors biasing the two respective flexible circuits toward each other to interengage their respective conductors.

FIG. 14 is similar to FIG. 11, except that the male connector includes yieldable backing structures 66A which are molded separately from body member 64 and subsequently positioned within recesses 74 in one or both sides 64a of the body member. The yieldable backing structure(s) can be affixed within recesses 74.

FIG. 15 shows an embodiment of the male connector wherein a single-sided flexible circuit is terminated on both sides of the connector, that is, a redundant contact configuration. Unlike the embodiments shown in FIGS. 11 and 14, instead of wrapping around body member 64, the flexible circuit 12 is inserted in the direction of arrow "B" through slot 82 and beneath a top ledge 84. The flexible circuit then wraps around a configuration of stacked yieldable structures 66, and exits through a slot similar to 82 (not shown) on the bottom of body member 64. Each of the yieldable backing structures 66 is located in a recess 74 on opposite sides of an integrally molded sunken wall 80 and may be separately molded, as shown and as in FIG. 14, or molded-in-place, as in FIG. 11.

FIG. 16 shows an embodiment similar to that of FIG. 15, but backing structure 66B is shown as a bar molded unitarily with body member 64 of the male connector and wall 80 is the yieldable structure that provides the resilience for the relatively rigid backing structure that therefore allows the conductors of the flexible circuit to be biased against their respective conductors of the complementary mating connecting device.

FIG. 17 shows an embodiment of a male connector 60 wherein the flexible circuit again is inserted in the direction of arrow "B" through a slot 82 beneath a top ledge 84 similar to the embodiments of FIGS. 15 and 16. In this embodiment, the yieldable backing structure is provided by a plurality of flexible spring fingers 66C which engage the underside of the flexible circuit after it passes through slot 82. The flexible circuit passes under a front ledge 86 and out through a front slot 88 whereupon the flexible circuit is folded, as at 90, beneath the male connector.

FIG. 18 shows an embodiment of a male connector 60 which includes a clamp arm or bar 92 connected to body 64 by an integrally molded living hinge 94. The clamp arm is pivotal about the hinge in the direction of arrow "D" to clamp flexible circuit 12 against the connector and provide strain relief for the flexible circuit. Therefore if force is applied to the flexible circuit itself, the clamp arm will minimize the likelihood that the flexible circuit is pulled out of body member 64. Rather, the force will be imparted to the clamp arm or strain relief. The clamp arm has holes 96 which frictionally engage bosses 70 to hold the clamp arm in clamping position. FIG. 19 shows a similar connector 60 with a strain relief clamp arm which is provided with a latching mechanism to hold the strain relief in place by way of a releasable latching structure 102.

Connector 60 of FIGS. 18 and 19 also has a window 98 through which the flexible circuit is exposed for engaging the conductors of the complementary mating connecting device. If the flexible circuit utilized in the connector is double-sided, another window 98 would be similarly located on the underside of the connector so that a mating connector, or connectors, could contact both sides of the flex circuit. Connector 60 shown in FIGS. 18 and 19 does not include a yieldable backing structure, as evidenced by the recessed location of the flexible circuit within the window. Rather, the mating connector, such as the types disclosed in FIGS. 1-10, would include a yieldable backing structure to fit within the window or windows 98 to effect a connection with the flexible circuit.

It will be understood that the invention may be embodied in other specific forms without departing from the spirit or central characteristics thereof. The present examples and embodiments, therefore, are to be considered in all respects as illustrative and not restrictive, and the invention is not to be limited to the details given herein.

Claims (27)

What is claimed is:
1. A female connector for electrically interconnecting conductors of a flat flexible circuit to conductors of a complementary mating connecting device, comprising:
a female housing having wall means defining a cavity for receiving the flexible circuit, the wall means including wall portions which are relatively movable between an open condition allowing a yieldable backing structure to be molded on a cavity-side of at least one of the wall portions and a closed condition defining said cavity,
wherein said female housing is generally U-shaped and includes a pair of side wall portions defining opposite sides of the cavity and a rear wall portion defining a rear of the cavity, said rear wall portion including a slot through which the flat flexible circuit passes; and
a yieldable molded-in-place backing structure on said cavity-side of the at least one wall portion for resiliently biasing the conductors of the flexible circuit received in the cavity against the conductors of the mating connecting device when the connector is mated with the device.
2. The female connector of claim 1 wherein said female housing is molded of plastic material and said wall portions are joined by an integrally molded living hinge to provide for said relative movement of the wall portions.
3. The female connector of claim 1, including at least one of said yieldable molded-in-place backing structures on the cavity-side of each of said side wall portions.
4. The female connector of claim 1, including a generally rigid outer shell substantially surrounding the female housing and having an opening aligned with the cavity.
5. The female connector of claim 1 wherein said female housing is molded of plastic material and said side wall portions are joined to the rear wall portion by integrally molded living hinges to provide for said relative movement of the wall portions.
6. The female connector of claim 1, including a generally rigid outer shell substantially surrounding the female housing and having an opening aligned with the cavity.
7. The female connector of claim 1, including latch means operatively associated between said relatively movable wall portions to hold the wall portions in their closed condition.
8. The female connector of claim 1 wherein said female housing includes end wall portions cooperating with said side wall portions and rear wall portion to define a box-shaped structure with a front opening for receiving the flexible circuit.
9. The female connector of claim 8, including latch means operatively associate between at least some of said wall portions to hold all the wall portions in their box-shaped configuration.
10. The female connector of claim 9 wherein said female housing is molded of plastic material and said side wall portions are joined to the rear wall portion and said end wall portions are joined to said side wall portions by integrally molded living hinges to provide for said relative movement of the wall portions.
11. The female connector of claim 10, including latch means operative associated between said end wall portions and said side wall portions to hold all the wall portions in their box-shaped configuration.
12. A female connector for electrically interconnecting conductors of a flat flexible circuit to conductors of a complementary mating connecting device, comprising:
a female housing having wall portions defining a cavity for receiving the flexible circuit, with the wall portions being relatively movable between an open condition allowing a yieldable backing structure to be assembled on a cavity-side of at least one of the wall portions and a closed condition defining said cavity,
wherein said female housing is generally U-shaped and includes a pair of side wall portions defining opposite sides of the cavity and a rear wall portion defining a rear of the cavity, said rear wall portion including a slot through which the flat flexible circuit passes; and
a yieldable backing structure on said cavity-side of the at least one wall portion for resiliently biasing the conductors of the flexible circuit received in the cavity against the conductors of the mating connecting device when the connector is mated with the device.
13. The female connector of claim 12 wherein said female housing is molded of plastic material and said wall portions are joined by an integrally molded living hinge to provide for said relative movement of the wall portions.
14. The female connector of claim 12, including at least one of said yieldable backing structures on the cavity-side of each of said side wall portions.
15. The female connector of claim 12, including a generally rigid outer shell substantially surrounding the female housing and having an opening aligned with the cavity.
16. The female connector of claim 12 wherein said female housing is molded of plastic material and said side wall portions are joined to the rear wall portion by integrally molded living hinges to provide for said relative movement of the wall portions.
17. The female connector of claim 12, including a generally rigid outer shell substantially surrounding the female housing and having an opening aligned with the cavity.
18. The female connector of claim 12, including latch means operatively associated between said relatively movable wall portions to hold the wall portions in their closed condition.
19. The female connector of claim 15 wherein said female housing includes end wall portions cooperating with said side wall portions and rear wall portion to define a box-shaped structure with a front opening for receiving the flexible circuit.
20. The female connector of claim 19, including latch means operatively associated between at least some of said wall portions to hold all the wall portions in their box-shaped configuration.
21. A female connector for electrically interconnecting conductors of a flat flexible circuit to conductors of a complementary mating connecting device, comprising:
a female housing having wall portions defining a cavity for receiving the flexible circuit wherein said female housing is generally U-shaped and includes a pair of side wall portions defining opposite sides of the cavity and a rear wall portion defining a rear of the cavity, said rear portion including a slot through which the flat flexible circuit passes; and
a yieldable molded-in-place backing structure on a cavity-side of at least one of the wall portions for resiliently biasing the conductors of the flexible circuit received in the cavity against the conductors of the mating connecting device when the connector is mated with the device.
22. The female connector of claim 21, including at least one of said yieldable molded-in-place backing structures on the cavity-side of each of said side wall portions.
23. The female connector of claim 21, including a generally rigid outer shell substantially surrounding the female housing and having an opening aligned with the cavity.
24. The female connector of claim 21 wherein said female housing includes end wall portions cooperating with said side wall portions and rear wall portion to define a box-shaped structure with a front opening for receiving the flexible circuit.
25. A connector assembly for electrically interconnecting conductors of a flat flexible circuit to conductors of a complementary mating connecting device, comprising:
a female connector including a female housing having wall means defining a cavity for receiving the flexible circuit, the wall means including wall portions which are relatively movable between an open condition allowing a yieldable backing structure to be molded on a cavity-side of at least one of the wall portions and a closed condition defining said cavity, and a yieldable molded-in-place backing structure on said cavity-side of the at least one wall portion for resiliently biasing the conductors of the flexible circuit received in the cavity against the conductors of the mating connecting device when the connector is mated with the device; and
a male connector mounting a second flat flexible circuit, the male connector being adapted for insertion into the cavity of the female connector and engaging conductors of the second flat flexible circuit with the conductors of the flexible circuit received in said cavity.
26. A connector assembly for electrically interconnecting conductors of a flat flexible circuit to conductors of a complementary mating connecting device, comprising:
a female connector including a female housing having wall portions defining a cavity for receiving the flexible circuit, with the wall portions being relatively movable between an open condition allowing a yieldable backing structure to be assembled on a cavity-side of at least one of the wall portions and a closed condition defining said cavity, and a yieldable backing structure on said cavity-side of the at least one wall portion for resiliently biasing the conductors of the flexible circuit received in the cavity against the conductors of the mating connecting device when the connector is mated with the device; and
a male connector mounting a second flat flexible circuit, the male connector being adapted for insertion into the cavity of the female connector and engaging conductors of the second flat flexible circuit with the conductors of the flexible circuit received in said cavity.
27. A connector assembly for electrically interconnecting conductors of a flat flexible circuit to conductors of a complementary mating connecting device, comprising:
a female connector including a female housing having wall portions defining a cavity for receiving the flexible circuit and a yieldable molded-in-place backing structure on a cavity-side of at least one of the wall portions for resiliently biasing the conductors of the flexible circuit received in the cavity against the conductors of the mating connecting device when the connector is mated with the device; and
a male connector mounting a second flat flexible circuit, the male connector being adapted for insertion into the cavity of the female connector and engaging conductors of the second flat flexible circuit with the conductors of the flexible circuit received in said cavity.
US08948830 1997-10-10 1997-10-10 Electrical connectors for flat flexible circuitry with yieldable backing structure Expired - Lifetime US6077124A (en)

Priority Applications (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US08948830 US6077124A (en) 1997-10-10 1997-10-10 Electrical connectors for flat flexible circuitry with yieldable backing structure

Applications Claiming Priority (7)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US08948830 US6077124A (en) 1997-10-10 1997-10-10 Electrical connectors for flat flexible circuitry with yieldable backing structure
SG1998003817A SG80602A1 (en) 1997-10-10 1998-09-24 Connectors for flat flexible circuitry
DE1998622393 DE69822393T2 (en) 1997-10-10 1998-09-26 An electrical connector for flat flexible circuitry
EP19980118278 EP0908968B1 (en) 1997-10-10 1998-09-26 Connector for flat flexible circuitry
CA 2249133 CA2249133A1 (en) 1997-10-10 1998-10-01 Connectors for flat flexible circuitry
BR9803852A BR9803852A (en) 1997-10-10 1998-10-08 female connector.
JP30329598A JP3041693B2 (en) 1997-10-10 1998-10-09 Flat-type flexible circuit for an electrical connector

Publications (1)

Publication Number Publication Date
US6077124A true US6077124A (en) 2000-06-20

Family

ID=25488292

Family Applications (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
US08948830 Expired - Lifetime US6077124A (en) 1997-10-10 1997-10-10 Electrical connectors for flat flexible circuitry with yieldable backing structure

Country Status (5)

Country Link
US (1) US6077124A (en)
EP (1) EP0908968B1 (en)
JP (1) JP3041693B2 (en)
CA (1) CA2249133A1 (en)
DE (1) DE69822393T2 (en)

Cited By (27)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US6360815B1 (en) * 1999-06-29 2002-03-26 Ecia Industrie Arrangement for mounting a fan motor on a heat exchanger and automobile vehicle front assembly provided with that arrangement
US20020062537A1 (en) * 2000-11-01 2002-05-30 International Business Machines Corporation Device and method for identifying cables
US20030087539A1 (en) * 2001-11-06 2003-05-08 Harting Electro-Optics Gmbh & Co. Kg Plug connector for establishing an electrical contact between a flexible conductor foil and a circuit board
US6726504B2 (en) * 2001-06-22 2004-04-27 Molex Incorporated Electrical connector for connecting flat flexible circuitry to discrete terminal pins
US20040092135A1 (en) * 2002-10-29 2004-05-13 Hofmeister Rudolf J. Electronic assembly tester and method for optoelectronic device
US6749459B2 (en) * 2001-07-10 2004-06-15 Delphi Technologies, Inc. Electrical connection system
US20050032398A1 (en) * 2000-12-28 2005-02-10 Francois Perret Interconnecting module for the base of electronic equipment casing
US20060201958A1 (en) * 2005-02-27 2006-09-14 Tieben Anthony M Mask container
US20060240697A1 (en) * 2005-04-26 2006-10-26 Cronch Daniel F Connector assembly
US20080233769A1 (en) * 2007-03-20 2008-09-25 Sanjeev Grover Right Angle Connection System for ATE Interface
US20080238600A1 (en) * 2007-03-29 2008-10-02 Olson Bruce D Method of producing a multi-turn coil from folded flexible circuitry
US20100091468A1 (en) * 2008-10-10 2010-04-15 Chi Mei Communication Systems, Inc. Flexible printed circuit board for use in surface-mount technology
US20100147581A1 (en) * 2007-05-29 2010-06-17 Sumitomo Bakelite Co., Ltd Flexible substrate and opening/closing electronic device
US8255041B2 (en) 2001-07-17 2012-08-28 Lifesync Corporation Wireless ECG system
US20130224990A1 (en) * 2010-08-09 2013-08-29 Saint-Gobain Glass France Housing for electrical connection between a foil conductor and a conductor
US20130267103A1 (en) * 2012-04-10 2013-10-10 Japan Aviation Electronics Industry, Limited Connector
US8771184B2 (en) 1993-09-04 2014-07-08 Body Science Llc Wireless medical diagnosis and monitoring equipment
US9117991B1 (en) * 2012-02-10 2015-08-25 Flextronics Ap, Llc Use of flexible circuits incorporating a heat spreading layer and the rigidizing specific areas within such a construction by creating stiffening structures within said circuits by either folding, bending, forming or combinations thereof
US9420701B2 (en) 2012-11-30 2016-08-16 The Trustees Of Columbia University In The City Of New York Flexible direct or USB plug-in platform for foldable or flexible electronics
US9521748B1 (en) * 2013-12-09 2016-12-13 Multek Technologies, Ltd. Mechanical measures to limit stress and strain in deformable electronics
US9549463B1 (en) 2014-05-16 2017-01-17 Multek Technologies, Ltd. Rigid to flexible PC transition
US9554465B1 (en) 2013-08-27 2017-01-24 Flextronics Ap, Llc Stretchable conductor design and methods of making
US9661743B1 (en) 2013-12-09 2017-05-23 Multek Technologies, Ltd. Flexible circuit board and method of fabricating
US9723713B1 (en) 2014-05-16 2017-08-01 Multek Technologies, Ltd. Flexible printed circuit board hinge
US20170271071A1 (en) * 2016-03-21 2017-09-21 Samsung Electro-Mechanics Co., Ltd. Method of manufacturing coil device and coil device
US9863979B2 (en) 2014-04-25 2018-01-09 The Trustees Of Columbia University In The City Of New York Systems, apparatus, and methods for energy monitoring
US9862561B2 (en) 2012-12-03 2018-01-09 Flextronics Ap, Llc Driving board folding machine and method of using a driving board folding machine to fold a flexible circuit

Families Citing this family (12)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US6312286B1 (en) * 1999-12-07 2001-11-06 Fci Americas Technology, Inc. Self-positioning metal hold-down
DE10015044C1 (en) * 2000-03-25 2001-11-08 Hoelzle Dieter Tech Projekte Connectors for flat cables
FR2807220A1 (en) * 2000-04-03 2001-10-05 Raymond Bernier Electrical flat cable/circuit board connection mechanism having outer flexible isolating shell sections stripped flat cable/board conductor plane pressing.
DE60108032T2 (en) * 2000-10-04 2005-12-15 Fci Improvements to flat flex cable assemblies
US6464534B1 (en) 2000-10-04 2002-10-15 Fci Usa, Inc. Flexible circuit assembly having a flexible circuit support connected to a flexible circuit
US6299476B1 (en) 2000-10-04 2001-10-09 Fci Usa, Inc. Electrical connector with a flexible circuit and rigidizer subassembly and a spring
DE10236128A1 (en) * 2002-08-07 2004-02-26 Daimlerchrysler Ag Electrical contacting method between component, e.g. electronic control component, and flexible ribbon cable has component counter-contact zone contacting ribbon cable contact zone in flexure region of latter
DE10250932B3 (en) * 2002-10-31 2004-05-13 Fci Flex-bus connector
US7338332B2 (en) * 2006-05-15 2008-03-04 Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications Ab Flexible circuit to board connector
US8079451B2 (en) 2007-09-05 2011-12-20 International Holdings Llc Convertible storage container
CN103682723B (en) * 2013-12-06 2016-04-20 苏州祥龙嘉业电子科技有限公司 A method for forwarding pitch electrical connector flexible circuit board
JP6312028B2 (en) * 2014-01-09 2018-04-18 パナソニックIpマネジメント株式会社 Cable holding member, the plug connector, the connector apparatus and method of assembling the plug connector

Citations (6)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3319216A (en) * 1965-03-25 1967-05-09 Fischer & Porter Co Connector for flat cables
US3602870A (en) * 1969-04-30 1971-08-31 Westinghouse Electric Corp Connector apparatus for effecting electrical connections
US3825878A (en) * 1973-09-10 1974-07-23 Motorola Inc Flexible flat cable system
US4802866A (en) * 1987-08-10 1989-02-07 Alfiero Balzano Connector
US5383788A (en) * 1993-05-20 1995-01-24 W. L. Gore & Associates, Inc. Electrical interconnect assembly
US5529502A (en) * 1994-06-01 1996-06-25 Motorola, Inc. Solderless flexible circuit carrier to printed circuit board interconnection

Patent Citations (6)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3319216A (en) * 1965-03-25 1967-05-09 Fischer & Porter Co Connector for flat cables
US3602870A (en) * 1969-04-30 1971-08-31 Westinghouse Electric Corp Connector apparatus for effecting electrical connections
US3825878A (en) * 1973-09-10 1974-07-23 Motorola Inc Flexible flat cable system
US4802866A (en) * 1987-08-10 1989-02-07 Alfiero Balzano Connector
US5383788A (en) * 1993-05-20 1995-01-24 W. L. Gore & Associates, Inc. Electrical interconnect assembly
US5529502A (en) * 1994-06-01 1996-06-25 Motorola, Inc. Solderless flexible circuit carrier to printed circuit board interconnection

Cited By (45)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US8771184B2 (en) 1993-09-04 2014-07-08 Body Science Llc Wireless medical diagnosis and monitoring equipment
US6360815B1 (en) * 1999-06-29 2002-03-26 Ecia Industrie Arrangement for mounting a fan motor on a heat exchanger and automobile vehicle front assembly provided with that arrangement
US7134200B2 (en) * 2000-11-01 2006-11-14 International Business Machines Corporation Device and method for identifying cables
US20020062537A1 (en) * 2000-11-01 2002-05-30 International Business Machines Corporation Device and method for identifying cables
US7534129B2 (en) 2000-11-01 2009-05-19 International Business Machines Corporation Device and method for identifying cables
US20060276074A1 (en) * 2000-11-01 2006-12-07 International Business Machines Corporation Device and method for identifying cables
US20050032398A1 (en) * 2000-12-28 2005-02-10 Francois Perret Interconnecting module for the base of electronic equipment casing
US6997720B2 (en) * 2000-12-28 2006-02-14 Thales Interconnecting module for the base of electronic equipment casing
US6726504B2 (en) * 2001-06-22 2004-04-27 Molex Incorporated Electrical connector for connecting flat flexible circuitry to discrete terminal pins
US6749459B2 (en) * 2001-07-10 2004-06-15 Delphi Technologies, Inc. Electrical connection system
US8255041B2 (en) 2001-07-17 2012-08-28 Lifesync Corporation Wireless ECG system
US20030087539A1 (en) * 2001-11-06 2003-05-08 Harting Electro-Optics Gmbh & Co. Kg Plug connector for establishing an electrical contact between a flexible conductor foil and a circuit board
US6722894B2 (en) 2001-11-06 2004-04-20 Harting Electro-Optics Gmbh & Co. Kg Plug connector for establishing an electrical contact between a flexible conductor foil and a circuit board
DE10154370A1 (en) * 2001-11-06 2003-05-15 Harting Electro Optics Gmbh & Connector for achieving an electrical contact between a flexible conductor foil and a circuit board
US7378834B2 (en) * 2002-10-29 2008-05-27 Finisar Corporation Electronic assembly tester and method for optoelectronic device
US20040092135A1 (en) * 2002-10-29 2004-05-13 Hofmeister Rudolf J. Electronic assembly tester and method for optoelectronic device
US20060201958A1 (en) * 2005-02-27 2006-09-14 Tieben Anthony M Mask container
US7374429B2 (en) 2005-04-26 2008-05-20 3M Innovative Properties Company Connector assembly
US20060240697A1 (en) * 2005-04-26 2006-10-26 Cronch Daniel F Connector assembly
US20080233769A1 (en) * 2007-03-20 2008-09-25 Sanjeev Grover Right Angle Connection System for ATE Interface
US7717715B2 (en) * 2007-03-20 2010-05-18 Verigy (Singapore) Pte. Ltd. System, method and apparatus using at least one flex circuit to connect a printed circuit board and a socket card assembly that are oriented at a right angle to one another
US20080238600A1 (en) * 2007-03-29 2008-10-02 Olson Bruce D Method of producing a multi-turn coil from folded flexible circuitry
US8387234B2 (en) 2007-03-29 2013-03-05 Flextronics Ap, Llc Multi-turn coil device
US8191241B2 (en) * 2007-03-29 2012-06-05 Flextronics Ap, Llc Method of producing a multi-turn coil from folded flexible circuitry
US20110050381A1 (en) * 2007-03-29 2011-03-03 Flextronics Ap, Llc Method of producing a multi-turn coil from folded flexible circuitry
US20100147581A1 (en) * 2007-05-29 2010-06-17 Sumitomo Bakelite Co., Ltd Flexible substrate and opening/closing electronic device
US7989709B2 (en) * 2008-10-10 2011-08-02 Chi Mei Communication Systems, Inc. Flexible sheet with electrical connecting locations engaging through holes in a rigid substrate
US20100091468A1 (en) * 2008-10-10 2010-04-15 Chi Mei Communication Systems, Inc. Flexible printed circuit board for use in surface-mount technology
US20130224990A1 (en) * 2010-08-09 2013-08-29 Saint-Gobain Glass France Housing for electrical connection between a foil conductor and a conductor
US9172191B2 (en) * 2010-08-09 2015-10-27 Saint-Gobain Glass France Housing for electrical connection between a foil conductor and a conductor
US9117991B1 (en) * 2012-02-10 2015-08-25 Flextronics Ap, Llc Use of flexible circuits incorporating a heat spreading layer and the rigidizing specific areas within such a construction by creating stiffening structures within said circuits by either folding, bending, forming or combinations thereof
CN103367962A (en) * 2012-04-10 2013-10-23 日本航空电子工业株式会社 Connector
US8920179B2 (en) * 2012-04-10 2014-12-30 Japan Aviation Electronics Industry, Limited Connector including contacts arranged in a matrix
CN103367962B (en) * 2012-04-10 2015-07-22 日本航空电子工业株式会社 Connector
US20130267103A1 (en) * 2012-04-10 2013-10-10 Japan Aviation Electronics Industry, Limited Connector
US9420701B2 (en) 2012-11-30 2016-08-16 The Trustees Of Columbia University In The City Of New York Flexible direct or USB plug-in platform for foldable or flexible electronics
US9862561B2 (en) 2012-12-03 2018-01-09 Flextronics Ap, Llc Driving board folding machine and method of using a driving board folding machine to fold a flexible circuit
US9554465B1 (en) 2013-08-27 2017-01-24 Flextronics Ap, Llc Stretchable conductor design and methods of making
US9521748B1 (en) * 2013-12-09 2016-12-13 Multek Technologies, Ltd. Mechanical measures to limit stress and strain in deformable electronics
US9661743B1 (en) 2013-12-09 2017-05-23 Multek Technologies, Ltd. Flexible circuit board and method of fabricating
US9839125B1 (en) 2013-12-09 2017-12-05 Flextronics Ap, Llc Methods of interconnecting components on fabrics using metal braids
US9863979B2 (en) 2014-04-25 2018-01-09 The Trustees Of Columbia University In The City Of New York Systems, apparatus, and methods for energy monitoring
US9723713B1 (en) 2014-05-16 2017-08-01 Multek Technologies, Ltd. Flexible printed circuit board hinge
US9549463B1 (en) 2014-05-16 2017-01-17 Multek Technologies, Ltd. Rigid to flexible PC transition
US20170271071A1 (en) * 2016-03-21 2017-09-21 Samsung Electro-Mechanics Co., Ltd. Method of manufacturing coil device and coil device

Also Published As

Publication number Publication date Type
CA2249133A1 (en) 1999-04-10 application
DE69822393T2 (en) 2005-02-24 grant
EP0908968A2 (en) 1999-04-14 application
EP0908968B1 (en) 2004-03-17 grant
EP0908968A3 (en) 2000-03-08 application
JP3041693B2 (en) 2000-05-15 grant
DE69822393D1 (en) 2004-04-22 grant
JPH11195463A (en) 1999-07-21 application

Similar Documents

Publication Publication Date Title
US5356308A (en) Connector assembly for a flexible wiring plate
US6095862A (en) Adapter frame assembly for electrical connectors
US6062893A (en) Adapter frame for an electrical connector
US6352442B1 (en) Connector in which a FPC is tightly held between a housing and a movable actuator with being connected to the connector
US4936792A (en) Flexible printed cable connector
US5574628A (en) Rigid PCMCIA frame kit
US6485315B1 (en) Electrical plug connector with spring latch and grounding tabs
US4802866A (en) Connector
US4975062A (en) Hermaphroditic connector
US5310360A (en) Circuit board mounted modular phone jack
US4944693A (en) Latch arm for electrical connector housing
US4944690A (en) Electrical connector for flat electrical cables
US6769937B1 (en) Modular jack assembly for jack plugs with varying numbers of wires
US6203345B1 (en) Flexible circuit connector
US6217364B1 (en) Electrical connector assembly with guide pin latching system
US6315616B1 (en) Plug connector and socket connector
US6056579A (en) Holder for circuit card
US5161981A (en) Foldable stacking connector
US6431907B1 (en) FPC connector with positioning actuator
US5026291A (en) Board mounted connector system
US7001208B2 (en) Electrical connector for flexible printed circuit
US5759065A (en) Pressure-contact joint connector
US5354214A (en) Printed circuit board electrical connector with mounting latch clip
US6299476B1 (en) Electrical connector with a flexible circuit and rigidizer subassembly and a spring
US6837740B2 (en) Flat circuit connector

Legal Events

Date Code Title Description
AS Assignment

Owner name: MOLEX INCORPORATED, ILLINOIS

Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:ETTERS, HARRY N.;FUERST, ROBERT M.;WATT, RUSSELL J.;REEL/FRAME:008770/0121

Effective date: 19971006

FPAY Fee payment

Year of fee payment: 4

FPAY Fee payment

Year of fee payment: 8

REMI Maintenance fee reminder mailed
FPAY Fee payment

Year of fee payment: 12